Cedric Gibbons (I) - News Poster



Balletic, stylized and rather aloof, MGM’s biggest musical for 1954 still has what musical lovers crave — good dancing, beautiful melodies and unabashed romantic sentiments. Savant has a bad tendency to fixate on the inconsistencies of its fantasy concept — in which God places an ideal Scottish village outside the limits of Time itself.



Warner Archive Collection

1954 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 108 min. / Street Date September 26, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse, Elaine Stewart, Barry Jones, Albert Sharpe, Virginia Bosler, Jimmy Thompson.

Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg

Art Direction: Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons

Film Editor: Albert Akst

Original Music: Frederick Loewe

Screenplay, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Produced by Arthur Freed

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

MGM underwent some severe cutbacks in 1953; most of its contract players were dropped including the majority of its proud roster of stars. The studio would have to survive in a new kind of Hollywood,
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From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century

From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century
Updated: Following a couple of Julie London Westerns*, Turner Classic Movies will return to its July 2017 Star of the Month presentations. On July 27, Ronald Colman can be seen in five films from his later years: A Double Life, Random Harvest (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942), The Late George Apley (1947), and The Story of Mankind (1957). The first three titles are among the most important in Colman's long film career. George Cukor's A Double Life earned him his one and only Best Actor Oscar; Mervyn LeRoy's Random Harvest earned him his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was shortlisted for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. All three feature Ronald Colman at his very best. The early 21st century motto of international trendsetters, from Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and Turkey's Recep Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the United States' Donald Trump, seems to be, The world is reality TV and reality TV
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Warner Archive Collection

1949 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 118 min. / Street Date January 10, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Don Taylor, James Whitmore, Douglas Fowley, Leon Ames, Guy Anderson, Denise Darcel, Richard Jaeckel, James Arness

Cinematography: Paul Vogel

Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters

Film Editor: John D. Dunning

Original Music: Lennie Hayton

Written by: Robert Pirosh

Produced by: Dore Schary

Directed by William A. Wellman

“The Guts, Gags and Glory of a Lot of Wonderful Guys!”

— say, what kind of movie is this, anyway?

Action movies about combat are now mostly about soldiers that fight like killing machines, or stories of battle with a strong political axe to grind. WW2 changed perceptions completely, when a mostly civilian army did the fighting. With the cessation of hostilities combat pictures tapered off quickly, and Hollywood gave the subject a break for several years.
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The Furniture: Design Inspires Van Gogh in Lust for Life

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

Kirk Douglas nearly drove himself over the edge while filming Lust for Life, inhabiting the character of Vincent van Gogh with a tenacity akin to the Method. The result was an Oscar nomination, likely the closest he ever came to a win. His emotionally volatile performance lends real weight to the oft-sensationalized biography of history’s most famously mad artist.

But the success of Lust for Life isn’t owed entirely to Douglas. Director Vincente Minnelli was a perfect match for the material, which necessitates a balance between the beauty that Van Gogh saw in the world and the feverish passion that drove him away from it. The Oscar-nominated production design team, led by frequent Minnelli collaborator Cedric Gibbons, offer a rich vision of the French countryside that serves as an essential counterpoint to Douglas’s madness.
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The Asphalt Jungle

John Huston’s primal heist film is an almost perfect movie, with a score of unforgettable characterizations. A solid crime noir, it concerns itself with the human ironies in the ‘left handed form of human endeavor.’

The Asphalt Jungle


The Criterion Collection 847

1950 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 112 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date December 13, 2016 /

Starring Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, James Whitmore, Jean Hagen, John McIntire, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelley, Anthony Caruso, Marilyn Monroe, Brad Dexter.

Cinematography Harold Rosson

Art Direction Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons

Film Editor George Boemler

Original Music Miklos Rosza

Written by Ben Maddow and John Huston from the novel by W.R. Burnett

Produced by Arthur Hornblow, Jr.

Directed by John Huston

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Talk about a film that becomes only more enjoyable with each viewing… John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle is the Singin’ in the Rain of noir masterpieces.
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It’s Always Fair Weather

When MGM was almost a ghost town, the Arthur Freed unit hit one last 'special' factory musical out of the park with this strangely melancholy ode to faded ambitions. Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Dan Dailey and Michael Kidd put in great, memorable work, while the glorious Dolores Gray is practically a living Tex Avery cartoon. And it's designed in wide, wide CinemaScope. It's Always Fair Weather Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1955 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 102 min. / Street Date November, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse, Dolores Gray, Michael Kidd Cinematography Robert Bronner Art Direction Cedric Gibbons, Arthur Lonergan Film Editor Adrienne Fazan Original Music André Previn Written by Betty Comden & Adolph Green Produced by Arthur Freed, Roger Edens Directed & Choreographed by Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Back in the late 1980s, I first became aware of the future of home video when Criterion introduced
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Love Me or Leave Me

MGM's show is a surprising powerhouse musical bio about the personality clash between an ambitious singer and the powerful enabler who wants her in his bed. Doris Day and James Cagney are at their best in an only slightly compromised telling of the real-life showbiz relationship of 'twenties star Ruth Etting and the domineering mobster Martin Snyder. Love Me or Leave Me Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1955 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 122 min. / Street Date September 13, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith, Tom Tully, Harry Bellaver, Richard Gaines, Peter Leeds, Claude Stroud, Audrey Wilder, John Harding. Cinematography Arthur E. Arling Art Direction Urie McCleary, Cedric Gibbons Film Editor Ralph Winters Original Music Nicholas Brodszky, Percy Faith, George E. Stoll Written by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart Produced by Joe Pasternak Directed by Charles Vidor

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

MGM's early CinemaScope musical bio holds up extremely well,
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Sci-fi Weekend, Ahrya Fine Art, Los Angeles, April 15-17

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

The Ahrya Fine Arts Theater in Los Angeles will be presenting a fun-filled weekend of six science fiction classics from Friday, April 15th to Sunday, April 17th. Several cast members from the films are scheduled to appear in person at respective screenings, so read on for more information:

From the press release:

Anniversary Classics Sci-Fi Weekend

Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: www.laemmle.com/ac.

Re-visit the Golden Age of the Science Fiction Film as Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series presents Sci-fi Weekend, a festival of six classic films April 15-17 at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills.

It was dawn of the Atomic Age and the Cold War, as Communist and nuclear war paranoia swept onto the nation’s movie screens to both terrify and entertain the American public. All the favorite icons are here: Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet,
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Judy by the Numbers: "Good Morning!"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

Freed, Garland, & Edens c. 1930s

After the whirlwind that was The Wizard of Oz, it may seem like a letdown for Judy to return to the Mickey & Judy musicals of before. However, she returned with two things she hadn’t had before: A-level star status, and the Freed Unit. The former made her a major box office draw, which meant that her movies had bigger budgets and better material. The latter meant that Arthur Freed - a writer turned producer who’d flitted in and out of Judy’s career since she started at MGM - could use those budgets and material to put on shows unlike any MGM had produced.

The Movie: Babes in Arms (MGM, 1939)

The Songwriters: Nacio Herb Brown (Music), Arthur Freed (Lyrics)

The Players: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, directed by Busby
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Golden Statues Arrive On The Oscars Red Carpet

The countdown is on to the Oscars and preps are continuing. The red carpet is covered in plastic as crews add more bling before all the glitz and glamour on Oscar Sunday.

The Oscar statues that will line the red carpet also made their first appearance on Thursday at the Dolby Theatre, while their smaller counterparts are safely tucked away until February 28th.

There have been 3,001 Oscar statuettes presented since the first Oscars (that includes the 3 Oscars presented at the Governors Awards event on November 14, 2015)

The Academy recently announced that Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, New York, will exclusively create its iconic Oscar statuettes, starting with the 88th Academy Awards. In a process that returns to the Oscar’s fine art roots, the statuettes will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.

Using a cast bronze Oscar from 1929, Polich Tallix artisans have
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11 Days Until Oscar! Trivia Party

I'm beginning to have butterflies. You? Just for fun some random trivia surrounding the number 11 today. Links go to previous articles here at Tfe on these films or performers

• Pictures with exactly 11 Oscar nominations

Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Rebecca (1940), Sergeant York (1941), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Sunset Blvd (1950), West Side Story (1961), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Oliver! (1968), The Godfather Pt II (1974), Chinatown (1974), The Turning Point (1977), Gandhi (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), Amadeus (1984), A Passage to India (1984), Out of Africa (1985), The Color Purple (1985), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Aviator (2004), Hugo (2011), and Life of Pi (2012)

• Movies that won exactly 11 Oscars

That's the most any movie has ever won and it's a three way tie: Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997), The Lord of the Ring: Return of the King (2003). Currently Ben-Hur is being remade and is supposedly opening this very summer... wish them good luck because living up to such a
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The Academy Reveals Making Of Statuettes And Street Closures For Oscar Week

The Academy has announced that Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, New York, will exclusively create its iconic Oscar statuettes, starting with the 88th Academy Awards. In a process that returns to the Oscar’s fine art roots, the statuettes will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.

“With the help of some 21st century technology, we’re able to honor the Oscar’s proud beginnings,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “The new statuette exemplifies impeccable craftsmanship and the enduring nature of art.”

Using a cast bronze Oscar from 1929, Polich Tallix artisans have restored subtle features of George Stanley’s original sculpture, which was based on sketches by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons. The overall size of the statuette remains the same.

“With this project, we’ve been entrusted with continuing a great tradition,” said Dick Polich, Polich Tallix founder and CEO.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Oscars Statuette Is Getting a Makeover, Its First in Over 30 Years

  • Moviefone
The Oscar statuette is the most iconic trophy in entertainment, and its classic look will soon get a (minor) makeover: The Academy announced this week that it will use a new manufacturer for the award starting this year, its first switch since 1982.

The coveted title of Oscar creator has now been bestowed upon Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, a company based in Rock Tavern, New York. Former manufacturer R.S. Owens & Company will continue to service and restore older statuettes, as well as create other awards and for The Academy (including the plaques handed out for the Scientific and Technical Awards).

According to The Academy, Polich Tallix based its slightly-updated design on the very first Oscar statuettes, using a bronze Oscar cast from 1929. The new trophy now boasts "restored subtle features of George Stanley's original sculpture, which was based on sketches by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, " per The Academy,
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Lubitsch Pt.II: The Magical Touch with MacDonald, Garbo Sorely Missing from Today's Cinema

'The Merry Widow' with Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and Minna Gombell under the direction of Ernst Lubitsch. Ernst Lubitsch movies: 'The Merry Widow,' 'Ninotchka' (See previous post: “Ernst Lubitsch Best Films: Passé Subtle 'Touch' in Age of Sledgehammer Filmmaking.”) Initially a project for Ramon Novarro – who for quite some time aspired to become an opera singer and who had a pleasant singing voice – The Merry Widow ultimately starred Maurice Chevalier, the hammiest film performer this side of Bob Hope, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler – the list goes on and on. Generally speaking, “hammy” isn't my idea of effective film acting. For that reason, I usually find Chevalier a major handicap to his movies, especially during the early talkie era; he upsets their dramatic (or comedic) balance much like Jack Nicholson in Martin Scorsese's The Departed or Jerry Lewis in anything (excepting Scorsese's The King of Comedy
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remembering Oscar-Winning Gwtw Art Director Menzies

William Cameron Menzies. William Cameron Menzies movies on TCM: Murderous Joan Fontaine, deadly Nazi Communists Best known as an art director/production designer, William Cameron Menzies was a jack-of-all-trades. It seems like the only things Menzies didn't do was act and tap dance in front of the camera. He designed and/or wrote, directed, produced, etc., dozens of films – titles ranged from The Thief of Bagdad to Invaders from Mars – from the late 1910s all the way to the mid-1950s. Among Menzies' most notable efforts as an art director/production designer are: Ernst Lubitsch's first Hollywood movie, the Mary Pickford star vehicle Rosita (1923). Herbert Brenon's British-set father-son drama Sorrell and Son (1927). David O. Selznick's mammoth production of Gone with the Wind, which earned Menzies an Honorary Oscar. The Sam Wood movies Our Town (1940), Kings Row (1942), and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). H.C. Potter's Mr. Lucky
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50 More of the Greatest Matte Paintings of All Time

A few years ago the editors of Shadowlocked asked me to compile a list of what was initially to be, the ten greatest movie matte paintings of all time. A mere ten selections was too slim by a long shot, so my list stretched considerably to twenty, then thirty and finally a nice round fifty entries. Even with that number I found it wasn’t easy to narrow down a suitably wide ranging showcase of motion picture matte art that best represented the artform. So with that in mind, and due to the surprising popularity of that 2012 Shadowlocked list (which is well worth a visit, here Ed), I’ve assembled a further fifty wonderful examples of this vast, vital and more extensively utilised than you’d imagine – though now sadly ‘dead and buried’ – movie magic.

It would of course be so easy to simply concentrate on the well known, iconic,
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Walker on TCM: From Shy, Heterosexual Boy-Next-Door to Sly, Homosexual Sociopath

Robert Walker: Actor in MGM films of the '40s. Robert Walker: Actor who conveyed boy-next-door charms, psychoses At least on screen, I've always found the underrated actor Robert Walker to be everything his fellow – and more famous – MGM contract player James Stewart only pretended to be: shy, amiable, naive. The one thing that made Walker look less like an idealized “Average Joe” than Stewart was that the former did not have a vacuous look. Walker's intelligence shone clearly through his bright (in black and white) grey eyes. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” programming, Turner Classic Movies is dedicating today, Aug. 9, '15, to Robert Walker, who was featured in 20 films between 1943 and his untimely death at age 32 in 1951. Time Warner (via Ted Turner) owns the pre-1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library (and almost got to buy the studio outright in 2009), so most of Walker's movies have
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Adg Film Society and American Cinematheque to Screen An American In Paris Film in Hollywood Later This Month

The Art Directors Guild Adg Film Society and American Cinematheque will present a screening of the Academy Award-winning classic musical An American in Paris 1951, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron and showcasing Oscar-winning concept artistcostume designer Irene Sharaff, Art Director E. Preston Ames and MGM's Supervising Art Director Cedric Gibbons, on Sunday, May 31 at 530 Pm at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
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Two Movies Starring (Inventor) Lamarr Coming Up on TCM

Hedy Lamarr: 'Invention' and inventor on Turner Classic Movies (photo: Hedy Lamarr publicity shot ca. early '40s) Two Hedy Lamarr movies released during her heyday in the early '40s — Victor Fleming's Tortilla Flat (1942), co-starring Spencer Tracy and John Garfield, and King Vidor's H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), co-starring Robert Young and Ruth Hussey — will be broadcast on Turner Classic Movies on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Pt, respectively. Best known as a glamorous Hollywood star (Ziegfeld Girl, White Cargo, Samson and Delilah), the Viennese-born Lamarr (née Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler), who would have turned 100 on November 9, was also an inventor: she co-developed and patented with composer George Antheil the concept of frequency hopping, currently known as spread-spectrum communications (or "spread-spectrum broadcasting"), which ultimately led to the evolution of wireless technology. (More on the George Antheil and Hedy Lamarr invention further below.) Somewhat ironically,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

"The Women" turns 75

Anne Marie here to celebrate a personal favorite. There are two ways to enjoy George Cukor’s sparkling comedy, The Women. The most obvious is to thrill in the delights of the best that a 1930s MGM comedy had to offer: an A-List, all-lady cast including Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, Paulette Goddard and Joan Crawford; costumes designed by Adrian (with a Technicolor fashion show bonus), and lavish sets, from department stores to nightclubs to Reno, including a bizarrely beautiful bathtub courtesy of Cedric Gibbons. But strip the elegant frivolity away, and you see the true nature The Women: A claws out, teeth bared, no-holds-barred bitchfest.

The Women is social satire aimed squarely at the myth of love in marriage. Neither Clare Boothe Luce (original playwright) nor Anita Loos (who adapted the screenplay) was shy about uncovering the backbiting of upper class socialites. The fights get more vicious
See full article at FilmExperience »
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